Canadian Permanent Resident Status and Traveling Abroad

Canadian Permanent Resident Status and Traveling Abroad

Understanding the rules and regulations of citizenship and permanent residency can be confusing. There are specific rules that apply and rights granted to each status and knowing what they are is important.

It becomes more cloudy when the question of traveling abroad is raised. You may wonder if there are time limits on your travel and how it can affect your residency status.

Before getting into the residency requirements, there should be a clear understanding of what a permanent resident is.

Permanent Residency

A permanent resident is a person who is a citizen of another country but has been given permission to stay in Canada. They are not citizens of Canada.

There are certain rights granted to a permanent resident by the government.

  • Health care coverage and most other social benefits for which Canadian citizens are eligible.
  • Study, work, or live anywhere in the country.
  • Submit an application for citizenship.
  • Obtain protections under Canadian law.

Permanent residents are also required to pay taxes and follow the laws of the country.

There are also rights and privileges that arenot availablefor permanent residents.

  • Running for political office.
  • Holding certain jobs that require a high level of security clearance.


A permanent resident of Canada cannot travel for an unlimited amount of time without risking the loss of their residency status. You must be physically in Canada for a total of two out of the last five years in order to maintain your status as a permanent resident.

Here are the guidelines that govern obtaining permanent residence card:

  • If you have been a permanent residence for five years or more, you have to have been physically in Canada for at least 730 days out of the last five years.
  • If you have been a permanent residence for five years or less, you have to show that you will be able to meet the 730-day requirement within five years of the date of you became a permanent resident.

Losing Permanent Residence

It’s possible for you to lose your permanent residency status if certain circumstances are present.

Here are some reasons you could lose your status:

  • You apply for a new permanent resident card and it is determined that you do not meet the residency requirements and are no longer a permanent resident.
  • The determination is made by a visa officer that you don’t meet the residency requirements when applying for a permanent or temporary resident travel document.

Either of these situations is best handled by seeking the advice of a qualified immigration and citizenship revocation lawyer. They understand the process and can help you to understand it, as well. They know what options you have and the proper way to respond to the authorities in a serious situation such as this.

Additional Articles About Spouse or Partner Sponsorship